The Magazine

Where Are the Pentagon Papers?

The administration refuses to defend itself.

Nov 21, 2005, Vol. 11, No. 10 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
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Still, the job in Qatar is daunting. When I spoke to a senior intelligence official last January about the progress being made on the document exploitation project, the official said he hoped all the documents would be "eyeballed"--not translated and evaluated, merely looked at--at least once by August. When I pressed him, saying that timeline seemed unrealistically optimistic, he shrugged. "Probably."

It was. According to several officials familiar with the project, analysts and translators are still swimming in documents. They often work in two shifts, day and night, but the total manpower devoted to the project is less than 200 people. There have been discussions about outsourcing the work--perhaps to the Iraq Memory Foundation, formerly affiliated with Harvard University--but no final decision has been made.

I formalized my interest in the project and these documents with a written request to the Pentagon press office in February 2005. I was interested in seeing some of the documents and said I was willing to travel to Doha if necessary. Despite vague promises of help, nothing happened.

Working outside formal Pentagon lines of inquiry, I soon learned more. Many of the documents from Doha had been entered into a database known as HARMONY. HARMONY is a thick stew of reports and findings from a variety of intelligence agencies and military units, and alongside the Iraqi documents were reports from contributing U.S. agencies. Eventually, I got a list of document titles that seemed particularly interesting:

1. Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) Correspondence to Iraq Embassy in the Philippines and Iraq MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

2. Possible al Qaeda Terror Members in Iraq

3. IIS report on Taliban-Iraq Connections Claims

4. Money Transfers from Iraq to Afghanistan

5. IIS Agent in Bulgaria

6. Iraqi Intel report on Kurdish Activities: Mention of Kurdish Report on al Qaeda--reference to al Qaeda presence in Salman Pak

7. IIS report about the relationship between IIS and the Kurdish Group Jalal Talibani [sic]

8. Iraqi Mukhabarat Structure

9. Locations of Weapons/Ammunition Storage (with map)

10. Iraqi Effort to Cooperate with Saudi Opposition Groups and Individuals

11. Order from Saddam to present $25,000 to Palestinian Suicide Bombers Families

12. IIS reports from Embassy in Paris: Plan to Influence French Stance on U.N. Security Council

13. IIS Importing and Hiding High Tech Computers in Violation of UN

14. IIS request to move persons, documents to private residences

15. Formulas and information about Iraq's Chemical Weapons Agents

16. Denial and Deception of WMD and Killing of POWs

17. 1987 orders by Hussein to use chemical weapons in the Ealisan Basin

18. Ricin research and improvement

19. Personnel file of Saad Mohammad Abd Hammadi al Deliemi

20. Memo from the Arab Liaison Committee: With a list of personnel in need of official documents

21. Fedayeen Saddam Responds to IIS regarding rumors of citizens aiding Afghanistan

22. Document from Uday Hussein regarding Taliban activity

23. Improvised Explosive Devices Plan

24. IIS reports on How French Campaigns are Financed

25. French and German relationships with Iraq

26. IIS reports about Russian Companies--News articles and potential IIS agents

27. IIS plan for 2000 of Europe's Influence of Iraq Strategy

28. IIS plans to infiltrate countries and collect information to help remove sanctions

29. Correspondence from IIS and the stations in Europe

30. Contract for satellite pictures between Russia, France and Iraq: Pictures of Neighboring Countries (Dec. 2002)

31. Chemical Gear for Fedayeen Saddam

32. Memo from the IIS to Hide Information from a U.N. Inspection team (1997)

33. Chemical Agent Purchase Orders (Dec. 2001)

34. Iraq Ministry of Defense Calls for Investigation into why documents related to WMD were found by UN inspection team

35. Correspondence between various Iraq organizations giving instructions to hide chemicals and equipment

36. Correspondence from IIS to MIC regarding information gathered by foreign intelligence satellites on WMD (Dec. 2002)

37. Correspondence from IIS to Iraqi Embassy in Malaysia

38. Cleaning chemical suits and how to hide chemicals

39. IIS plan of what to do during UNSCOM inspections (1996)

40. Secret Meeting with Taliban Group Member and Iraqi Government (Nov. 2000)

There are thousands of similar documents. Most of them are unclassified. That's important: Most of them are unclassified.